Statutory occupational health care
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Under the Occupational Health Care Act, every company is bound by a statutory obligation to arrange preventive health care. You can apply for compensation for occupational health care costs from Kela.
Under the Occupational Health Care Act your company must arrange preventive occupational health care for its employees even when the company only has one employee. Temporary or short-term employment relationships do not invalidate this obligation. Compliance with the Act is supervised by the occupational safety and health authorities.
Occupational health care will help you determine in a comprehensive manner how the work carried out by your employees and the hazards and workload factors in the working environment affect your employees’ health.
Occupational health care promotes and supports the health of your employees, their well-being at work and their work and functional capacity. Occupational health care can also help prevent occupational diseases and illnesses and workplace injuries.
Additionally, occupational health care will support your employee when they return to work after sick leave and, when necessary, give them a referral to rehabilitation. Occupational health care can also help with problems related to your company’s work community and in the planning of measures that will maintain well-being at work.
Statutory occupational health care is preventive in nature and maintains work ability. You are obligated work together with occupational health care in drawing up an action plan that will be reviewed once a year.
Statutory occupational health care includes
- workplace surveys on the impact of work and the work environment on the health of employees
- advice and guidance on the maintenance of health and work ability either one-on-one or in groups
- doctor’s examinations when necessary at the start of employment and at regular intervals
- promoting the functionality of the work community
- monitoring of work ability and referral to rehabilitation
- monitoring of sick leaves and accident prevention together with the workplace
- participation in the arrangement of first aid.
Every workplace must also draw up a model for the support of work ability, in which your company and occupational health care decide on how the work ability of employees will be maintained in practice.
Statutory occupational health care does not cover medical care. However, your company can, if you so wish, also provide medical care for its employees, which means that they can also see an occupational health care physician or nurse when they fall ill. Agree separately on the provision of medical care when you enter into an occupational health care agreement.
You can get your company’s occupational health care services from a local health centre’s occupational health care, a municipal enterprise’s occupational health care, an occupational health care association or occupational health care at a private medical centre. Speak with your employees about getting occupational health care and listen to their views.
First determine which are your possible occupational health care providers. Call for tenders from the service providers you have selected. Remember to specify in your invitations to tender whether you only want tenders on statutory preventive occupational health care or if you also want medical care. Enter into a written agreement on the provision of occupational health care with the service provider you have selected.
When the agreement has been completed, the occupational health care provider will carry out a workplace survey in cooperation with your company. At the same time, the provider will speak with you and your employees about your company’s occupational health care needs. After this, you will decide what occupational health care will do to support your employees’ work ability and the matters your company will be responsible for. The tasks assigned to occupational health care will be entered into your company’s occupational health care action plan.
Keep documents that list the practical arrangements for occupational health and the services included in the occupational health agreement in a place where they can be viewed by your employees.
Notify occupational health care early on if you notice that an employee’s work ability is in danger of declining. This may be become evident, for example, in the form of recurrent short sick leaves. When you intervene early on, your employee’s work ability can often be returned to its prior level before the situation grows worse.
Notify occupational health care of your employee’s sick leave, if it has lasted a period of one month. If the employee’s inability to work grows any longer, work together with the employee and occupational health care to determine whether the employee can continue in their job.
Always notify your occupational health care provider, if there are changes to the number of people you employ. Changes to this number will affect your occupational health care costs.
Also contact occupational health care if any fundamental changes take place in your employees’ work or working conditions. If occupational health care determines that the work could cause hazards to your employees’ health, you will agree on regular occupational health care examinations. A hazard can result for example from one-sided physical workload or mental overloading.
On average, occupational health care costs amount to a few hundred euros a year per employee.
Your company can apply for compensation for occupational health care and medical care costs from Kela. The maximum sum of compensation will be 50% or 60% of the calculated maximum costs.
In order for your company to be eligible for compensation, its activities must comply with good occupational health care practice and the costs must be reasonable and necessary. Another condition is that your company has paid the costs in full and the services have been free of charge for your employees. Additionally, your company must have a valid occupational health care agreement and an occupational health care action plan in place. Your company must have also carried out a workplace survey together with occupational health care.
Apply for compensation of occupational health care costs with one application for the entire financial year within six months of the end of your company’s financial year.